Summary: Part XII

Dr. Jordan arrives in Mr. MacKenzie’s office for a meeting. After Mr. MacKenzie describes how he became Grace’s lawyer, Dr. Jordan explains his difficulty in determining whether or not Grace is insane. Mr. MacKenzie replies that he himself never reached a satisfying conclusion. He also remarks that criminals often conveniently forget their crimes, though Dr. Jordan insists that Grace’s amnesia seems genuine.

Dr. Jordan then asks Mr. MacKenzie about details related to the case. When asked about Susanna Moodie’s report that he claimed Grace was haunted by Nancy’s bloodshot eyes, Mr. MacKenzie initially implies that Moodie made it up, but then he says more ambiguously, “I couldn’t swear to the eyes.” Dr. Jordan begins to suspect Mr. MacKenzie of evading the truth.

The men continue to discuss Grace, and Dr. Jordan complains that though her story has a ring of truth, he believes she must be lying to him. Mr. MacKenzie responds by comparing Grace to Scheherazade. He says the latter did not think she was lying, and because of that no one should try to divide her stories into the black and white categories of “true” and “false.”

Mr. MacKenzie hypothesizes that Grace must be in love with Dr. Jordan, just as she had been “besotted” with him when he was her lawyer. Dr. Jordan grows enraged at the insinuation, but he hides his anger and instead asks the lawyer if he thinks Grace was innocent. Mr. MacKenzie replies that he believed her “guilty as sin.”

Back in Kingston, Grace wonders where Dr. Jordan went, and she laments his failure to understand that guilt is imposed on victims by the actions of others, not by the choices they themselves make.

Grace sits knitting in her cell, and she thinks about what she would put in her keepsake album if she had one. She considers keeping objects linked to good memories, like a bit of fringe from her mother’s shawl. But then she wonders whether a keepsake album should only preserve the good things in one’s life, or if it should include everything both good and bad and thus “be truthful” to that person’s life.